Word of the Day : July 11, 2014

unregenerate

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adjective un-rih-JEN-uh-rut

Definition

1 : not spiritually reborn or converted

2 a : not reformed : unreconstructed

b : obstinate, stubborn

Did You Know?

One long-standing meaning of the adjective "regenerate" is "spiritually reborn or converted." By the late 1500s, English speakers had added "un-" to "regenerate" to describe someone who refused to accept spiritual reformation. Since then, "unregenerate" has taken on a life of its own, gaining the extended specific meanings of "unconverted to a particular doctrinaire viewpoint," "persisting in a reactionary stand," or just plain "stubborn." "Regenerate" and "unregenerate" trace back to the Latin word "genus," meaning "birth" or "descent."


Examples

"She sings … in a voice that could melt the heart of the most unregenerate musical hater." - Charles Isherwood, The New York Times, May 18, 2008

"A string of revivals later known as the Great Awakening blazed up and down the eastern seaboard-although scholars suspect that many of these new converts soon backslid into their unregenerate ways." - Molly Worthen, The Daily Beast, June 1, 2014



Word Family Quiz

What member of the "genus" family once meant "highborn" and now can mean "abundant" or "freely giving or sharing"? The answer is …


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